The 6th largest snow storm in New York City history shut down Newark Airport from 6 PM on Monday night until Tuesday morning, when it opened back up and became even more of a madhouse, obviously, because a ton of flights were trying to get in at the same time.
Ours, Continental flight 86, was one of the many coming from Cleveland you’ll see below. Don’t believe the it when it says “On Time.” Our flight says 12 pm, but flight 86 didn’t actually leave until 7:30. Luckily, we got on one that left around 4.)
We got to Newark on Tuesday night a little after 6 PM, when it looked like this (below) at the Continental customer service counter. See how the line curves around? You can’t even see the beginning or the end. It wasn’t pretty:
Then there was the baggage claim situation (below). Airlines were putting people on whatever flights had extra seats, and they did the same for bags. We were told our bag arrived hours before we did, and that’s why we had to play Where’s Waldo: Suitcase Edition once we got to baggage claim.
The line of bags was endless.
Once passengers had gotten their bags, they might have been under the impression the worst was over. That would have been a mistake.
Here’s the beginning-ish, middle, and end-ish of the taxi line (below, in order). We couldn’t see the beginning or end, but as we stood their waiting for our ride, we saw that, luckily, the line was moving.
Our estimate of how long it’d take to wait is about 5 or 6 hours.
Of course, it could have been much longer. We doubt it would have been shorter. It was growing by the second.
It’s hard to imagine that anyone’s situation could have been worse than ours when we ended up getting home no less than 24 hours after we expected to (after a 14 hour flight that was supposed to be nonstop) but it could have been. There were some people on my flight who ended up in that taxi line.
We also spoke to people at the airport who had been coming back, trying to leave for 3 days.
That’s probably why the check-in area at Newark looked like this:
Our hearts and returned sanity go out to those still waiting.
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